Friday, May 14, 2021

More to come from Heatly after solid display in Budapest

James Heatly backed up his performance at the FINA Diving World Cup in Tokyo a little over a week ago, with a solid display in the final of the 3m springboard event at the LEN European Championships, being held at the Duna Arena in Budapest.

Heatly moved up to fourth place after a strong third round dive, a forward 2½ somersault, 2 twists, which earned him 81.60 points. But it was his penultimate dive, a forward 4½ somersault, tuck, which scored 96.90 points, that had Heatly challenging Germany’s Martin Wolfram, for a place on the podium.

Wolfram, however, stood his ground, and fresh from his gold medal winning performance in Tokyo last week, held off Heatly’s challenge to secure the bronze medal. Heatly fourth overall with 464.60.

After the final, Heatly, who is coached by Jen Leeming in Edinburgh, said of his performance,

"The field in Europe is just incredible, so actually in the grand scheme of things when I reflect back on it I can be happy - even if it is frustrating right now. 460 for me a year or two ago would have been a score I would really struggle to get, whereas I've achieved it here with two drops so there's a lot more to give, which is exciting."

Russians Evgenii Kuznetsov and Nikita Shleikher finished with gold (525.20 points) and silver (505.80 points) respectively, with Kuznetsov producing a stunning final dive, a forward 4½ somersault, tuck, which earned him 102.60 points. Wolfram won bronze with 484.64 points.

Grace Reid will start her European campaign on Saturday with the 3m springboard event. BBC Sport website will be showing the finals HERE.

The Championship website can be found HERE.